Home cooks may be surprised to know that there are a number of frozen vegetables that work as well, or even better, than fresh vegetables. Add to that the time-saving features of cooking frozen vegetables, and the result is that many home cooks could probably find a use for them in recipes.
Cooks use spinach in soups and stews as well as in dips and sauces. For some families, creamed spinach is a must on the Thanksgiving table. Make a quick spinach pesto to use in any pasta or bruschetta recipe or as a sauce for chicken or fish. For spinach pesto, thaw spinach in a bowl for 6 minutes in the microwave. After it has cooled, squeeze it in your hands to remove excess water. Add the spinach to the blender along with 2 cloves of garlic and 1/2 cup of olive oil. Blend until the mixture is well incorporated and add 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.
Frozen peas work well in any recipe calling for peas. You can simply toss in a frozen handful or two to soups and stews and they will be ready in minutes. There are quite a few different recipes for a cool pea salad that works well on a hot day. One such recipe from the Yumsugar website includes 1/2 cup torn mint leaves, 1 tbsp. capers, 1 chopped shallot, 1 tsp. lemon zest, 1/4 cup olive oil and 1/4 tsp. pepper. After mixing these ingredients, toss in 1 pound frozen and thawed green peas and 1/2 cup crumbled goat cheese. Serve the salad at room temperature.
Renowned cookbook writer and TV personality Ina Garten recommends frozen pearl onions in her recipe for coq au vin, or chicken with wine. She also encourages viewers to use them for other recipes such as beef bourguignon or chicken pot pie. To make coq au vin yourself, brown one chicken cut into pieces in a heavy large Dutch oven and remove it after it has browned. In the same pan, cook one sliced onion and a few chopped carrots for 10 minutes; add 1 tsp. of garlic and cook for one more minute. Deglaze the pan with 1/2 bottle of red wine and 1 cup of chicken stock. Add the chicken back to the pan and simmer for 30 minutes. To finish the dish, add a roux with 2 tbsp. of flour and butter, 1/2 pound of cooked mushrooms and 1/2 pound of frozen onions. Cook for another 10 minutes.